The Courier-Mail

IT WILL BE SO SPECIAL AFTER THE HARDSHIP

THIS WILL BE A CELEBRATIO­N FOR EVERYONE AND I JUST CAN’T WAIT TO REALISE MY DREAM

- ARIARNE TITMUS

AFTER what everyone’s been through in the past year, it feels surreal that the Tokyo Olympics are now only 100 days away.

Like every athlete in Australia, and the rest of the world, I just can’t want for the Games to start, though I’m trying not to think too much about it right now because all my focus is on training and the one thing we’ve all learnt from the past year is not to take anything for granted.

When the news broke last year that the Games were off, we didn’t know whether they were going to be postponed or cancelled altogether.

I felt like my whole world was coming to an end because I had been training all my life for that one competitio­n.

But the time spent in lockdown and seeing what everyone else has been going through has given me a different perspectiv­e and even greater appreciati­on for the Olympics.

A few weeks ago, they announced that there would be no internatio­nal spectators allowed in Tokyo.

That was devastatin­g because it means we can’t have our family and friends with us to share these moments, but after a year of COVID we can all look at things a bit differentl­y.

Instead of being down about it, we’ve all been able to focus on the positives, and the big positive for athletes is that Tokyo is still going ahead, and that’s what keeps driving me. I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by but now that we’re only 100 days away, it kind of scares me a little bit, because the one thing I’ve always dreamt about is suddenly coming up so fast now that it feels real.

It hasn’t been the best preparatio­n for anyone but the main feeling is still just one of excitement.

After everything we’ve all been through, this is going to be a very special Olympics.

I haven’t been to an Olympics so I can’t compare it with others but I know for certain that this is going to be a celebratio­n for everyone, even people who don’t normally follow sport.

The Olympics is different from other big sporting events because the world watches and this time more people than ever will be tuning in because it’s the celebratio­n everyone needs after the time we’ve had.

When you think about everything the world’s been through, to pull this off and hold a successful Games is just massive and sends a message that no matter how tough things seem, we can and will beat this together.

If I make the team, I know I’ll be going to Tokyo just to compete, to do my job for the country, then get out of there.

There are not going to be any parties after our races are over or time for sightseein­g, but that doesn’t matter because this Olympics is about sport in its purest form and that’s something we can all celebrate.

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